While there is a long history of opposition to sensible marijuana policy reform from some big pharmaceutical companies, September saw the biggest financial donation from such a company against a legalization ballot initiative to date, and their motives couldn't be more blatant.
According to campaign finance reports, the committee formed to oppose Prop. 205, Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, received a $500,000 contribution on August 31 from Insys Therapeutics, Inc. According to a CNBC investigative piece about the Chandler-based company — titled “The pain killer: A drug company putting profits above patients” — Insys Therapeutic’s revenue is “almost entirely derived from the highly addictive opiate fentanyl,” which experts call “the most potent and dangerous opioid on the market.” Insys’s aggressive marketing and other shady business practices have triggered multiple state and federal investigations, including one conducted by the Arizona Attorney General.
The front page of Insys’s website also touts its development of “pharmaceutical cannabinoids,” which are synthetic versions of natural chemical compounds found in marijuana.
A number of major media outlets reported on the clear intent to protect profits at the expense of public health and individual freedom, but neither Insys, nor the campaign dedicated to arresting adults for using something that is safer than alcohol, have shown any sign of remorse.
MPP director of government relations Steve Fox was interviewed on CNBC’s Power Lunch on Wednesday about the implementation of Washington State’s new legal marijuana market regulations.
Here's the clip:
It is interesting that despite voters in two states making marijuana legal for adults, and with over 20 states considering marijuana reform legislation in the 2013 session, some folks in the mainstream media simply cannot stop making jokes about this serious policy issue. The time for puns is over. It is time for change.